When it comes to backpacking for beginners, especially if you are a woman, the high-tech urbanscape of Singapore is your best bet. We say this because of two main reasons – one, the city’s crime rate is very low making it safe for young woman travellers and you can cover the entire place in a matter of only 3-4 days, which make it quite budget friendly too. However, there is a widespread myth that Singapore is very expensive. In reality, Singapore can be super fun and within budget if you know how to do it right. So, we are here to decode backpacking to Singapore on a student’s budget for you.
One of the most dreaded aspects of a vacation in Singapore is often the pricey accommodation. Yes, the place is definitely steeper in terms of accommodation cost when compared to a lot of other western and Asian countries. But, the trick here is to find the best hotels in Singapore on a budget. For backpackers, nothing can beat the affordability of hostels in Singapore. They can range from about Rs.1000/- to Rs.2000/- per day depending on their location and facilities. If you would like a little more privacy and a taste of Japanese style capsule pod stay, then be ready to shell anywhere between Rs.1500/- to Rs.3000/- per day. Make sure whichever hotel or hostel you pick is safe and do a little research online about the place. Reading genuine online reviews can definitely help you pick the perfect stay for yourself.
The easiest, quickest and most comfortable way to go around Singapore is by their Mass Rapid Transport (MRT). It is mostly underground and very affordable at about 2 Singapore dollars to go from one end of the city to another. Then comes the buses and their routes can be easily checked out through smartphone applications like gothere.sg. A good idea is to pick up an EZ Link Card which comes at about 12 SGD that you can top up with cash or card. This is a very convenient way to pay your way through Singapore’s public transport. For the times when public transport does not seem feasible, you can flag down a taxi or make use of apps like Gojek or Grab, which is the Singaporean equivalent of Uber. Make sure to pack a pair of quality walking shoes and sunglasses in your backpack as Singapore is a delightful place to navigate on foot and it will also save you a few coins too.
The street food scene in Singapore is happening to say the least. It is bustling with variety and makes food so good that some of the hawkers have been presented with Michelin Stars. This is probably the only city in the world that will offer you a Michelin Star dish at less than 5 SGD. Some of our recommendations that you must not miss are –
Asian Deligh Laksa from Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa
Teochew Omelette from 85 Bedok North Fried Oyster
Duck Rice from Chuan Kee
Char kway teow from Outram Park Fried Kway Teow
Dim Sum from Swee Choon Tim Sum
Bak Chor Mee from Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
Places to Visit
Gardens by the Bay
The Gardens of the Bay is one of the most iconic destinations in Singapore and mesmerize you with its unique mix of natural beauty and futuristic technology. Strolling through the outdoor garden is absolutely free. The cloud forest which houses the largest indoor waterfall will cost you $28 SGD to witness and $8 GSD to stroll across the stunning Skywalk. But the star of the show has got to be the Garden Rhapsody which is absolutely free and is possibly going to be the most memorable experience you have in Singapore. It is a light and sound show which transforms the iconic supertrees and its surroundings into a visual extravaganza.
Marina Bay Sands Mall
If you want a sneak peek of futuristic architecture and modern designing then there is no better place than this mall. It houses Asia’s largest collection of luxury fashion brands. You can shop a lot and window shop a lot more. Apart from that, there is an observation deck giving a sensational bird’s eye vista of the Cosmopolitan’s cityscape at around $23 SGD.
Go on a Night Safari
Most of us do not get the opportunity to witness nocturnal animals in full swing even when we visit zoos because day time is when they snooze and replenish. So, a night safari at the Singapore Night Safari is completely worth its $47 SGD price tag.
The Singapore Airport
Do not make the mistake of rushing out of the Jewel Changi Airport before checking out. It is an infamous multiuse complex rather an indoor paradise with a 40 meter tall Rain Vortex which is the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. There are lounges, designer shops, cinema theatres and an expansive garden known as the Jewel’s Shiseido Forest valley. On the tops floor of the 4 storey structure lies the Canopy with themed restaurants and gardens.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Take a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of this stunning cosmopolitan and marvel at the green beauty of this hidden gem in the geographical centre of the city. It is one of the last remaining tracts of rainforest in Singapore and has the highest hill in Singapore – the Bukit Timah Hill. A morning hike or a bike ride will show you the other greener side of Singapore.
A trip to Singapore will not be complete without a visit to the most postcard-worthy location of Singapore. You can spend some quality time in and around this are and appreciate the beauty of Singapore’s official Mascot – The Merlion. The City Hall, the Statue of Sir Stamford Raffles, and Victoria Theatre are also close by and are worth a visit.
Now that the vacation season is almost up, make yourself an itinerary and pack your backpack to make some memories in Singapore.